Tag: Western New England

Noontime’s Five D3 Men’s Lacrosse Teams to Watch in April

Cross Ferrara and the Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team have won 11-straight contests this spring. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brad Boardman)

By Matt Noonan

We’re a few days into the final month of the regular season for NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse, which seems hard to fathom. But luckily, there is still plenty of lacrosse to be played – don’t worry, the season is not over yet!

However, I believe there are a few teams – may be more than a few? – that we should certainly keep our eyes on down the stretch and possibly next month once the postseason begins.

Yet, before we look too far down the road, allow me to share the five teams I’ll be watching this month.


Salisbury University: I believe the Sea Gulls are the best team in Division III. But that’s my opinion.  

Salisbury secured 23 first-place votes for this week’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) D-III Top 20 Poll after capping the second month with three big wins over Colorado College, Whittier College, and Stevenson University.

Their most recent matchup with Stevenson was a challenging one, which saw the Mustangs outscore the Sea Gulls, 5-3 in the third quarter (Salisbury led 9-4 at the break).  

The Sea Gulls will certainly be challenged over the next few weeks with upcoming matchups against a pair of ranked teams, including Christopher Newport, which secured the second position on this week’s USILA Top 20 Poll after checking in fourth one week ago. Neither team has dropped a game this spring, so their matchup next Saturday, April 16 could feature a pair of unbeaten squads.

Christopher Newport: The Captains looked impressive in their last outing, beating Williams College by a score of 15-2.

The non-conference meeting with the Ephs was highlighted by a career-high 18 saves by Zac Hanway. Andrew Cook tallied six goals, which is the most any member of the team has recorded against a nationally-ranked opponent.

Christopher Newport will compete later today against Southern Virginia University before turning its attention to Salisbury, along with the University of Mary Washington and Colorado College.

The Captains have scored five wins this season against nationally-ranked foes and will certainly look to continue their momentum over the next few weeks.

Bowdoin College: The Polar Bears head into this evening’s meeting with Bates College riding a nine-game winning streak.

Bowdoin has won five New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) matchups, along with a pair of regional victories over Babson College and Western New England.

I believe the Polar Bears are the best team in the NESCAC, however, I am interested to see how they do against Tufts University later this month. But given the way they have played these last few weeks; I find it hard to see this team losing its current momentum down the stretch.

Keep an eye on Will Byrne, a sophomore from Darrien, Connecticut, that tied the school’s single-game program record with 11 points (five points and six assists) last month against Western New England.

RPI: The Engineers have certainly bounced back following a 12-9 setback to Williams last month with a pair of wins, including a 13-12 victory last weekend against RIT.

Cooper Urban concluded his team’s meeting with the Tigers with three goals and three assists while Joseph Perry recorded 23 saves.  

The win over RIT provided RPI with the top spot in the Liberty League (LL) with a 3-0 record (the Engineers currently boast a 9-1 overall record).

RPI has certainly been on my radar this spring by commencing its current campaign with seven-straight wins. They will certainly face some challenges down the stretch, beginning next Saturday with a big matchup with Union College.

Union College: The Dutchmen have scored some impressive wins thus far, including recent victories over Middlebury College, St. Lawrence University, and Tufts.

Their next three matchups will certainly tell us more about a team that I believe can compete for both a conference crown and national championship.

Union will visit St. John Fisher College this afternoon (face-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.) and RIT this Saturday, April 9.

Keep your eyes on goalie Dan Donahue, who was recently named the Liberty League’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week for the fifth time this spring.

Noontime’s Final D3 Football Top 20 Poll (Nov. 22, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s hard to believe, but another season of New England NCAA Division III football has officially concluded — that was fast, eh?

Luckily, we still have plenty of end-of-season wrap-up content coming your way, so stay tuned for future posts and podcasts. But in the meantime, enjoy our end-of-season poll, which finds Williams College, Endicott College, and Framingham State in the top three spots.

1. Williams College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): The only New England team to finish without a setback, the Ephs concluded the 2021 season as the first team in program history to win nine games in a single season.

2. Endicott College (8-3, 5-1 CCC): Despite seeing its season conclude in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament, the future is very bright for a squad that features a slew of rising seniors and juniors.

3. Framingham State (8-3, 6-0 MASCAC): The Rams were a pleasant surprise this fall, rebounding from an 0-2 start to win their third outright conference crown.

4. Trinity College (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): The Bantams could be the “team to beat” next fall in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) after ending its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst College and Wesleyan University.

5. Western New England (7-4, 5-1 CCC): The Golden Bears may have ended with a difficult setback to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, but this team was resilient, especially after a midseason loss to Endicott College.

6. UMass Dartmouth (9-2, 6-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs matched their win total from 2003 by winning their final six contests, including their first-ever New England Bowl.

7. Husson University (7-3, 4-2 CCC): These Eagles provided a lot of challenges for non-conference and conference foes this fall.

8. Salve Regina University (8-2, 4-2): The 2021 Seahawks looked somewhat like the 2016 Seahawks that won eight games.

9. Springfield College (7-4, 6-0 NEWMAC): “The Brotherhood” bounced back from a 1-3 start with a six-game winning streak that resulted in a conference crown, along with an impressive showing against SUNY Cortland in the opening round of the postseason.

10. Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2): The Bears concluded their season with a Cranberry Bowl win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy, which should provide the Red and White with some much-needed momentum heading into the offseason.

11. Anna Maria College (7-3, 5-1 ECFC): The AMCATs were a tremendous story this fall as they not only captured their initial conference crown but also competed in their first national postseason.

12. Wesleyan University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): These Cardinals provided a great deal of excitement with some dramatic come-from-behind wins this fall.

13. Castleton University (6-4, 4-2 ECFC): The Spartans were a fun team to watch down the stretch as they finished with six wins for the first time since posting an identical 6-4 record in 2017.

14. Plymouth State (5-5, 5-3 MASCAC): These Panthers were a team to watch during the second half of the season, especially mid-October.

15. MIT (5-4, 3-3 NEWMAC): Coach Brian Bubna’s squad ended its 2021 campaign with a much-needed win over the Engineers of WPI.

16. Amherst College (5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): These Mammoths exceeded our expectations and will certainly be a team to keep an eye on next fall.

17. University of New England (4-5, 2-4 CCC): The future is very bright for the Nor’easters, who concluded their season early this month with a dramatic win over Curry College.

18. Western Connecticut (5-5, 4-4 MASCAC): The Colonials head into the offseason with some momentum after ending its campaign with back-to-back wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State.

19. Tufts University (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Jumbos ended their season with a four-game winning streak – they were certainly competitive with some of the top teams in the NESCAC this fall.

20. Colby College (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Mules concluded their season with the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown.

UMass Dartmouth, USMMA Capture New England Bowls

Dante Aviles-Santos tossed four touchdowns on Saturday in his team’s first-ever New England Bowl. (PHOTO COURTESY: Eric Ogden)

By Matt Noonan

Three days after being named the 2021 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Offensive Rookie of the Year, Dante Aviles-Santos concluded his sophomore season by recording six touchdowns, including two rushing scores as UMass Dartmouth rolled past Alfred State in one of two New England Bowls this afternoon.

The Corsairs, who beat the Pioneers by a score of 42-16, ended their season on a six-game winning streak to finish 9-2 for the first time since 2003.

Aviles-Santos, who recorded 339 yards of total offense, scored two of his six touchdowns in the opening frame, including a three-yard rushing score with 11:56 remaining that provided UMass Dartmouth with a lead that would eventually grow to 22-3 at the break.

Both teams would trade touchdowns throughout the third quarter – Alfred State did pull within three scores (34-16) when Jake Palmer capped a four-play, 58-yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown, but that would be the closest they would get. UMass Dartmouth would tack on one more score in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Aviles-Santos to Winston DeLeon.

Alfred State’s Aaron Jenkins, who was named the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Offensive Player of the Year, ended the game with 287 yards of total offense, including 215 yards passing and one touchdown. Mike Nushar led the Pioneers’ defense with a game-high 21 total tackles, including 12 solo stops to go with one forced fumble.

Despite the loss, the Pioneers concluded the season with six wins, which is the most they have recorded in a single season since their initial campaign in 2013.

Merchant Marine 63, Western New England 35: Coach Mike Toop won his final game on the sidelines as the Mariners jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back as the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) capped its season with a New England Bowl against the Golden Bears of Western New England.

Ian Blankenship recorded seven touchdowns in the win – he rushed for a game-high 137 yards on 30 carries for four scores while completing 4 of 11 passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns. Talsen Smith caught both touchdown passes while finishing the contest with three catches for 120 yards.

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak led all receivers with 130 yards on six grabs and caught three touchdowns.

As a team, USMMA recorded 579 yards of total offense on 83 plays compared to 412 yards on 85 plays for Western New England.

The Mariners end their season with a 9-1 record while setting a program record for points in a game with 63.

UMass Dartmouth, WNE To Compete In 2021 New England Bowl

Western New England’s football team will compete once more this fall as they, along with UMass Dartmouth secured spots in the 2021 New England Bowl. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By NoontimeSports.com

The New England Bowl is back.

This weekend, four teams, including two Massachusetts squads will compete in it as Western New England will host the United States Merchant Marine Academy while UMass Dartmouth will entertain Alfred State.

Both games will be played this Saturday, November 20 with kickoff times to be announced later this week.

Merchant Marine will look to capture its second New England Bowl in program history after beating Endicott College in 2018 by a score of 38-22.  

The Mariners won eight of nine contests this season and finished second in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). This week’s contest will mark the final game for coach Mike Toop, who announced he would be retiring at the conclusion of the 2021 season last Friday. Toop has paced the sidelines for 45 years, including the last 17 in Kings Point, New York.

Alfred State, UMass Dartmouth, and Western New England will all be making their inaugural appearance in the New England Bowl series – all three squads placed second in their respective conferences.

The New England Bowl series began in 2016 with Framingham State and Salve Regina University competing in the inaugural contest, and features teams from the NEWMAC, Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), and Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).

Endicott, Dean College, WPI, and Western Connecticut were the last four teams to compete in the New England Bowl series in 2019.

Noontime’s 10 Games to Watch (Week 11)

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team will look to cap their 2021 campaign with a win over Amherst College on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s hard to believe, but somehow, we made it to the final week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III college football season – where did the time go?

The final week pits some real intriguing matchups that will determine conference winners. Others feature teams looking to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the offseason.

We’ll have plenty of time over the next few weeks to look back on the regular season, but for now, let’s get ready for the final jam-packed Saturday with 10 Games to Watch (and yes, our picks, too).

And just for those keeping track at home, we enter the final week with a 71-29 record when it comes to selecting games. Not bad, eh?

Catholic University (6-3, 4-1 NEWMAC) at Springfield College (6-3, 5-0 NEWMAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: The Pride are on a roll and should be able to conclude their conference slate with a victory, along with a league crown. PREDICTION: Springfield 30, Catholic 22

Merchant Marine Academy (7-1, 4-1 NEWMAC) at Coast Guard Academy (2-7, 0-5 NEWMAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: The Mariners will look to send coach Mike Toop off with one last win in the Secretaries Cup against the Bears.  PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 30, Coast Guard 20

Endicott College (7-2, 4-1 CCC) at Nichols College (2-7, 0-5 CCC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: A win for the Gulls over the Bison would most likely secure them a spot in the upcoming postseason. PREDICTION: Endicott 30, Nichols 16  

Williams College (8-0, 8-0 NESCAC) at Amherst College (5-3, 5-3) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: The Ephs can make history on Saturday by becoming the first team in program history to win nine games in a single season. PREDICTION: Williams 30, Amherst 14

Alfred State (5-4, 4-1 ECFC) at Dean College (2-7, 1-4 ECFC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: A win for the Pioneers and an AMCATs loss would provide the Blue and Yellow with their first-ever conference crown, so this is a must-win for Alfred State. PREDICTION: Alfred State 24, Dean 14

Bridgewater State (5-4, 5-2 MASCAC) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (4-5, 3-4 MASCAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: Mother Nature should cooperate for the 42nd Annual Cranberry Bowl in Buzzards Bay – the rain today should vanish by kickoff tomorrow. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 23, Mass. Maritime 20

Plymouth State (5-4, 5-2 MASCAC) at UMass Dartmouth (7-2, 5-2 MASCAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: Second place in the conference is on the line — of course, Bridgewater State is in the mix for second place, as well, but this outcome could determine who will represent the conference in the New England Bowl. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 28, Plymouth State 20  

Christian Schiavone and the SUNY-Maritime football team will compete against Anna Maria College in a highly anticipated matchup on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Alan Schaefer)

Husson University (7-2, 4-1 CCC) at Western New England (6-3, 4-1 CCC) Saturday, November at 1 p.m.: The Eagles soar into Springfield with a great deal of end-of-season momentum. PREDICTION: Husson 28, WNE 24

SUNY-Maritime (3-5, 3-2 ECFC) at Anna Maria College (6-2, 4-1 ECFC) Saturday, November 13 at 1 p.m.: The AMCATs are one win away from capturing their first-ever conference crown. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 28, SUNY-Maritime 15

Bowdoin College (1-7, 1-7 NESCAC) at Colby College (3-5, 3-5 NESCAC) Saturday, November 13 at 5 p.m.: The Mules can secure their second-straight Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown on Saturday with a win over the Polar Bears. PREDICTION: Colby 24, Bowdoin 14